United Church of Christ

Unmasked

For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. - Luke 8:17 (NKJV)

Before masks became so important to us as life savers, as protection of self and others, we only wore them at Halloween. Or Mardi Gras. Before masks became standard operating equipment for grocery shopping and before they were politicized, masks were fun. You didn’t wear them for medical reasons. You wore them at a costume ball. Or acting in a Shakespeare play. They have a deep history of concealing our true identities. We enjoy the annual role shifts.

A lot of people join me in those return trips to the car. Yes, I conveniently forget that I have to wear a mask outside. A lot of people also join me in finding them a pain in the nose. 

My favorite comment about masks is from a nurse friend. I was complaining about wearing a mask. She said, “Sure beats a ventilator.”

Do we keep secrets under our masks? The secrets will be revealed.

Do we hide things under our masks? The hidden things will come to light.

Nothing is truly secret. Nothing is truly hidden. This wisdom is in a folk key, a universal key. It is Christian plus. It is truth that artists know. Native people sometimes say that they are seeing with two eyes. It is also common sense.

Maybe if I learned to love my mask, I wouldn’t have to make so many return trips to the car.

Prayer

Help us love what little science knows, O God. Help us respect what little we can do to protect ourselves from disease and dis-ease. Help us not hide what little power we do have but instead use it. Amen.

Donna SchaperAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.

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